Revealed: the inside story of the UK's Covid-19 crisis Revealed: the inside story of the UK's Covid-19 crisis
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  1. #1

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    Default Revealed: the inside story of the UK's Covid-19 crisis

    You won. Get over it.

    Revealed: the inside story of the UK's Covid-19 crisis | World news | The Guardian


    Herd immunity

    Given the repeated denials, it can be overlooked that the reason the world believes that attaining herd immunity was the government’s approach is largely because Vallance said it was. On Friday 13 March, when the virus was spreading exponentially, he set out publicly to explain the government’s strategy.

    “Our aim is to try and reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely,” Vallance explained on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Also, because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, to build up some kind of herd immunity, so more people are immune to this disease, and we reduce the transmission. At the same time, we protect those who are most vulnerable to it. Those are the key things we need to do.”

    Asked on Sky News what proportion of the population would need to become infected to achieve herd immunity, Vallance replied: “Probably about 60% or so.”

    Few mitigation measures were yet put in place. The week is remembered for the mega-events that went ahead: the Cheltenham Festival of horseracing, the Liverpool v Atletico Madrid Champions League tie, the Stereophonics concert in Cardiff. In allowing them, the government was indeed, as it consistently said, following the UK science that, surprisingly to many, considers that “mass gatherings” do not have a major impact on virus transmission. The numbers of people infected will almost certainly never be known, but the pictures of packed stands, particularly at Cheltenham, have become emblems of the government’s delay and inaction.

    On 11 March, the WHO formally declared Covid-19 a pandemic. Tedros, the director general, maintained that the virus spread could still be confronted, and criticised “alarming levels of inaction” by some countries.

    That same day, a further explanation of the government’s strategy was given by Dr David Halpern, a psychologist who heads the Behavioural Insights Team, a company part-owned by the Cabinet Office, which it advises. “There’s going to be a point, assuming the epidemic flows and grows, as we think it probably will do, where you’ll want to cocoon, you’ll want to protect those at-risk groups so that they basically don’t catch the disease, and by the time they come out of their cocooning, herd immunity’s been achieved in the rest of the population.”


    At a press conference the following day, Johnson famously said: “I must level with the British public: many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”


    Whitty announced then that the initial effort to contain the disease by testing and tracing had been abandoned, yet despite that, and Johnson’s dire warning, the measures discussed for the new “delay” phase were almost negligible. People over 70 were advised not to go on cruises. Johnson said even “household quarantine” would not be required until sometime “in the next few weeks”. The government’s published plan did say that social distancing and school closures could be considered.


    That evening, the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt spoke on the BBC, saying he was concerned Britain had become an “outlier”. Hunt says now he became worried that Whitty was too resigned to the virus spreading: “I couldn’t understand why they were so certain that nothing could be done to stop nearly 60% of our population becoming infected, when I had figures showing that even in Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak in China, less than 1% of the population actually became infected.”


    Vallance made his media appearances the following day, explaining the herd immunity approach. He was asked on Sky News why in the UK “society was continuing as normal”, and it was put to him that a 60% infection rate would mean “an awful lot of people dying”.

    Vallance replied that it was difficult to estimate the number of deaths, but said: “Well of course we do face the prospect, as the prime minister said yesterday, of an increasing number of people dying.”

    Matt Hancock, the health secretary, issued the first denial that herd immunity was part of the government’s plan, despite Halpern and Vallance having days earlier indicated that it was, in a column in the Sunday Telegraph on 15 March. “We have a plan, based on the expertise of world-leading scientists,” Hancock wrote. “Herd immunity is not a part of it. That is a scientific concept, not a goal or a strategy.”

    By then, a dizzying number of experts were sounding the alarm. An open letter issued on 14 March dismissing herd immunity as “not a viable option” and calling for stricter social distancing measures so that “thousands of lives can be spared” was signed by more than 500 UK scientists.


    Ultimately, the evidence that appears to have prompted the change of course was contained in the Imperial College paper, published on 16 March.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    I admit that I'm a lazy lying cretin, but so what?
    25 June 2018

  2. #2

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    Dominic's spin machine has gone into overdrive now, absolving him of blame.
    Herd immunity was his idea, but that's going to disappear from the record, watch and see.
    The UK has become like the Soviet Union.
    Hard Brexit now!
    #prayfornodeal

  3. #3

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    Well actually that was fast:

    Dominic Cummings swayed SAGE coronavirus debate in his favour, report claims | Latest Brexit news and top stories | The New European

    Only one big problem with that story which comes from unnamed "people". I wonder why they're speaking out now .
    Apparently he only advocated lockdown on March 18th, after the Imperial paper came out (which was so stark in its prediction nobody could ignore it).
    The same story says he was on the SAGE panel since February.
    So presumably from Feb to March he was advocating the opposite, since he didn't mention lockdown till the 18th
    (we can't know what he was advocating for sure but I doubt the scientists on the panel would feel they could over-ride him given he has the PM's ear).

    This really is one of the biggest scandals in British history. And not for the first time recently, it's left the UK looking incredibly stupid on the world stage.

    Basically its beginning to look like the countries that were more successful locked down when cases were low.
    Given what we know about virus transmissibility, this isn't rocket science.

    Never mind. Musn't grumble.
    Last edited by sasguru; 29th April 2020 at 16:50.
    Hard Brexit now!
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    Notice that the government, in anything they say, will never be at fault because if you ask them a question, the standard response is "we are following the science." This is SAGE yet they still won't say who SAGE is exactly...
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darmstadt View Post
    Notice that the government, in anything they say, will never be at fault because if you ask them a question, the standard response is "we are following the science." This is SAGE yet they still won't say who SAGE is exactly...
    To be honest Whitty and Valance etc have proved to be incompetent.
    Not just for not locking down earlier which would have saved thousands of lives
    But also because Vallance said "20000 dead would be a good outcome".

    Coronavirus: 20,000 UK deaths would be 'good outcome', Sir Patrick Vallance said in March | UK News | Sky News

    Now that we know the figure is going to be much larger (26K and counting today, not counting non-hospital deaths) the question should be asked:
    How stupid must you be to give a figure that was much smaller than the likely one?
    Why commit to a figure at all?
    Hard Brexit now!
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    The virus is an excellent money maker for various pharmaceutical companies. The herd immunity strategy could make certain companies billions.

    Probably that has become too obvious...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sasguru View Post
    To be honest Whitty and Valance etc have proved to be incompetent.
    Not just for not locking down earlier which would have saved thousands of lives
    But also because Vallance said "20000 dead would be a good outcome".

    Coronavirus: 20,000 UK deaths would be 'good outcome', Sir Patrick Vallance said in March | UK News | Sky News

    Now that we know the figure is going to be much larger (26K and counting today, not counting non-hospital deaths) the question should be asked:
    How stupid must you be to give a figure that was much smaller than the likely one?
    Why commit to a figure at all?
    Within the context of such incompetence, it's a good job that the PM was boostering confidence by shaking hands with people in hospital, including Covid 19 patients.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    I admit that I'm a lazy lying cretin, but so what?
    25 June 2018

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    Quote Originally Posted by elsergiovolador View Post
    The virus is an excellent money maker for various pharmaceutical companies. The herd immunity strategy could make certain companies billions.

    Probably that has become too obvious...
    Milk the herd, and when the herd becomes unproductive, send them to the slaughterhouse...

  9. #9

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    "The Guardian"

    Let me stop you there...
    Blog? What blog...?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    "The Guardian"

    Let me stop you there...
    Best keep away in your case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bean
    I admit that I'm a lazy lying cretin, but so what?
    25 June 2018

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